When many people think of arthritis they imagine pain in the hands, hips, and knees, but it can affect any joint in the body — including the toes, feet, and ankles. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available.
Here at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, Dr. Thomas Rambacher offers both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for foot and ankle issues, including arthritis. If you’re having trouble walking or having to cut back on activities you love due to arthritis pain in your feet, come in to see us.
We administer personalized cutting-edge treatment with as little downtime as possible. Plus you get direct access to Dr. Rambacher via his cell phone in case you have a question after your appointment.
Arthritis in the feet
Healthy joints have connective tissue known as cartilage between the bones that cushions the pressure when you move. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage gets worn away, allowing the bones to rub together, which causes swelling and pain. Foot arthritis can lead to a loss of strength, flexibility, and function, as well as reduced mobility.
With our body weight bearing down on our feet with each step we take, it's no wonder wear and tear on our joints develops over time. Close to half of people develop arthritis in their feet by their 60s and 70s.
In addition to aging, being overweight and having a family history can increase your likelihood of arthritis in your feet. Women who have worn high-heeled shoes for many years can be at greater risk, too.
In addition to osteoarthritis, gout is another type of arthritis that can affect the big toe, and can make it painful for your foot to push off the ground when walking. With gout, high levels of uric acid collect in the blood and cause sodium urate crystals to build up around the big toe joint, leading to pain.
Treatment options for foot arthritis
There are lots of things we can do to help reduce the pain of your foot arthritis. Pain relievers can help with discomfort, while anti-inflammatory medication can decrease swelling in the joints.
Wearing proper-fitting shoes with support and rubber soles for cushioning is essential. Or we can make you special orthotic inserts or custom shoes to support your foot and ankle.
Specialized exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon and toes can help with strength and flexibility. Using canes or braces for support, and losing weight (if you need to) may improve arthritis pain as well.
Other treatment options Dr. Rambacher may recommend include steroid injections, fusing the joints together to lessen friction, or surgically removing any troublesome bone spurs. We also offer stem cell therapy to help regenerate new cartilage.
If you're tired of arthritis pain in your feet making you uncomfortable and reducing your mobility, Dr. Rambacher is ready to treat your foot arthritis. You can call our office or use the online booking tool to make an appointment today.